The only reasonable name for this post is "Nigger Nose," but I didn't want the traffic that would generate. My motto is usually any attention is good attention, but not in this case.
Rogers Ledge, way up north in NH, above the Lakes Region, above even the White Mountains and well into the Great Gulf, used to be called "Nigger Nose" in 1934, according to the USGS survey* map. Strangely, it wasn't called that four years earlier. Usually that sort of change of embarrassing name flows in the other direction. The USGS didn't name these things, of course. They just wrote down what the locals told them. It never occurred to me until now that there might be dispute and disagreement about that. Folks on the east side of a mountain might call that little hump over there one thing, folks on the west might call it another.
I am not familiar with the topography in question, nor at what angle it must be viewed to deserve the racial name, and I'm not going to try, because I'm sure it would irritate me. I don't go northwest out of Berlin all that often anyway. There are two of NH's 4000-footers nearby, Cabot and Waumbek, and it's nearly 3000' itself - there's a good trail to it, apparently - so it must get climbed. Great views, they say. I'm more interested in the name. That far north in NH is not a place where one would expect any sort of familiarity, let alone expertise, in the matter of African-American nose shapes. Working from photographs, I suppose, or more likely, cartoons. Or what some other guy told you. I can't find anything on the internet that references the name and whether there was any controversy about it. Most likely, the racist name just slowly dropped out of use as decent people refused to use it. If I knew there was a good story behind it I might try and get ahold of other old maps, but I'm betting not. Just an ugly little reminder of how people used to talk quite off-handedly.
*The UNH library site for historical USGS topos of NY and New England is a quite marvelous place to get lost. I can figure out which year my grandfather built his farm in Westford and when he put in the chicken coop by looking at the maps. I can see where long-defunct roads one went and when they put in the secondary highways.